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date: 18 October 2019

Isaksson, Madeleinelocked

  • Margaret Myers


(b Stockholm, 1956). Swedish composer. She studied the piano (Gunnar Hallhagen) and composition and electro-acoustic music (Gunnar Bucht, Sven-David Sandström and Pär Lindgren) at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, graduating in 1987. Contact with Xenakis, Ferneyhough and Emmanuel Nunes convinced her to continue her composition studies in France, where she has settled. In addition to Nunes and Ferneyhough, important influences have been Giacinto Scelsi, Helmut Lachenmann, Morton Feldman and John Cage. She is a member of the Swedish Composers’ Guild and has regularly received important commissions.

Isaksson’s music is largely acoustic, with an ascetic sensitivity to unusual sound combinations, reinforced by her use of micro-intervals. She aims at a homogenous body of sound, although she often strives to use the extremities of the vocal and instrumental ranges. Each voice or instrument asserts its individuality, but with balance and restraint. Her forms are carefully designed through sketches that show timespan, register and sound. She speaks of her pieces as naked, vulnerable, empty landscapes where sounds seed themselves, take root and sprout. Creation for her is an organic process, involving the deconstruction then synthesis of elements....

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